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What your fridge says about you

Tuesday - 1/21/2014, 7:57am  ET

John Stonehill says peering into someone's fridge gives you a glimpse into one's lifestyle and habits. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON - The saying goes, "You are what you eat," but does that theory extend to, "You are what's in your refrigerator?"

To John Stonehill, it absolutely does.

Stonehill is a "refrigerator dating expert" and creator of Check Their Fridge, a dating website that analyzes people's relationships -- and their refrigerators.

"Really, nothing says more about what we are than what we eat and what we drink," Stonehill says.

"It really tells us a lot about our health, our lifestyle, how we socialize, how we appear, even how well-read we are."

He launched Check Their Fridge six months ago, but he developed his fridge theory more than 10 years ago when he was single and dating. Stonehill says whenever he went back to a woman's apartment, he would check her fridge.

"By looking in that fridge, I got such a good window into who this person is," he says, adding that some women would find his behavior hilarious, while others would find it weird.

Stonehill says his "fridge epiphany" came about in his late 20s, when, true to his routine, he opened a woman's refrigerator after a date. Stonehill says the smell that came out of the fridge was the most disgusting, horrible smell, and he instantly knew a relationship with the woman would not work.

"What kind of sane person lets their fridge get so disgusting and so smelly that you literally cannot open the door without gagging?" he says. "Almost always, if there's chaos in someone's fridge, there's probably chaos in someone's life."

Ten years later, Stonehill went to the apartment of his (now) wife. He pulled on the door of her sleek, stainless steel refrigerator, and what he speculated from its contents -- a nice bottle of champagne, a nice bottle of wine, a couple of gourmet condiments and a little cheese -- holds true today.

"I said to myself, ‘This woman is never cooking for me someday. That's just not who this girl is,'" Stonehill says. "We've been together almost four years, and I can say very clearly that she does not cook for me."

Stonehill says a fridge is truly a window into someone's life, and can tell a lot about someone's health, socialization and financial status.

Here's what Stonehill, who analyzes user-submitted fridge photos, likes to see in a fridge:

  1. Cleanliness: Stonehill says a refrigerator can be a direct reflection of someone's hygiene and cleanliness principals.

    "If that's where they're putting the stuff that's eventually going to be in their body, that's going to reflect on other aspects of their life," he says. "If a restaurant smelled, would you actually hang out there, let alone eat there?"

  2. Signs of a Healthy Lifestyle: Stonehill, who admits to liking greasy food every now and then, says he doesn't expect perfection, but he likes to see effort as far as healthy food options in a refrigerator.

    "When it comes to our physical appearance, it starts with diet and exercise, which is fueled by our fridge," says Stonehill, adding that this principle doesn't have anything to do with one's size; it's a matter of being healthy.

    He says if someone is not taking care of his/herself when they are single, he/she most likely won't later in life, as well.

  3. Financial Stability: Even the condition of the actual fridge plays a role in Stonehill's analysis. He says it often points to a person's personal finance situation, which can play a role in overall compatibility.

    "I'm not looking for a Sub-Zero, but I also don't want to see a fridge that has a door being held on by duct tape," Stonehill says.

  4. A Good Host: An extra bottle of wine, some cheese, crackers and appetizers can go a lot further than one might think in the eyes of a potential mate. Stonehill says he loves seeing a fridge that is ready to host an impromptu gathering of friends.

    "You can really look at somebody's fridge and say, ‘That person is clearly catering to people's tastes beyond their own.' I love to see that."

So then, what does your fridge say about you?

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